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Speculation about who the GOP VP running mate will be is ramping up, even though who the GOP's Presidential nominee will be is, shall we say, still up for grabs.

Who might be the choice of the party, the nominee, the Tea Party, the evangelicals ... Aw hell, who might be the GOP's VP running mate with Whoever in 2012?

Yes, there is a chance to actually become President, a lofty office of considerable authority held by relatively few people. Besides, you get Secret Service protection for life and a big library with your name on it. But a VP running mate stands only that - a chance of becoming President. It is decidedly not a sure thing. Given the contentious beginnings of the vice presidency and the scorn heaped upon it over the ages and the uncertain path to get there, the phrase "running mate" with its parallels to marriage seems particularly apt.

We can obsess about who might be asked. At least as pertinent is the question - who in their right mind would be willing?

First, some history. The whole business of running for President after serving as someone's VP is not at all encouraging, for it started out badly.

1796 was the first contested US presidential election. John Adams had been George Washington's VP for two terms. Adams squeaked out a 71-68 electoral victory after a ferocious and invective-filled campaign that makes today's attack ads seem tame. Reported breathlessly by the liberal media of the day, much of the scandalmongering vituperation came from friends and supporters of that courtly Virginia gentleman, Thomas Jefferson. The irony was that P. Adams was stuck with V.P. Jefferson even though they were from two warring political parties because back then, whoever got the next highest votes became vice president, a process that was not to be repeated.

The US has had 47 vice-presidents in 223 years. While fourteen of them became president, only nine - less than 20% - were actually elected to the higher office. (One wasn't elected as vice president or to the presidency.) (And we're going to ignore Dick Cheney who served as acting president twice for slightly more than two hours each, when Shrub had medical treatment.) (See footnote.)

A position much scorned by some who knew it best. John Adams called it "... the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived." Daniel Webster declined the opportunity with: ""I do not intend to be buried until I am dead." And Harry Truman, who was not a close confidant of President Franklin Roosevelt, said the main job of a vice president was to go to weddings and funerals. Gerald Ford's VP, Nelson Rockefeller, realized that the job was not a leadership position. John Nance Garner, who ran for nomination against FDR, was able to deal himself in as FDR's first VP (of three) and then disagreed publicly with his president. Garner famously remarked that the VP job was "not worth a warm bucket of spit." That last word has also been reported as "piss" as well as .. well, never mind. Garner decided the job was "the worst damn fool mistake I ever made."

How Running Mates are chosen. For much of the 20th century, VP running mates were chosen the way Presidents were, through artful politicking and negotiations with the party-powerful, often behind closed doors in the proverbial smoke-filled rooms, sometimes contrary to the preferences of the man chosen to be president. Some might argue this practice continues to this day.

Certain factors are said to be at play in choosing who should run as VP. The main theme of all of them in recent times seems to have been to fill in the presidential nominee's gaps and faults.

Regional Balance. Presidential candidates from New England states might favor a VP from Texas or California, such as JFK with Lyndon Johnson (1960) and Michael Dukakis with Lloyd Bentsen (1988). What happens when someone from Texas gets the nomination? Well, Bush chose Cheney, a fellow Texan who then relocated to Wyoming. Staying within the region may not hurt:  Bill Clinton (AR) chose Al Gore (TN). But regional balance inter alia didn't help Gore with Lieberman (CT) in 2000, nor Bush the First with his selection of J. Danforth Quayle (IN) in 1992. Might some other factor be more conducive to success?

Electoral Vote Bringer. The big ones, as of the 2010 census, are California (55), Texas (38), Florida and New York (29 each), Illinois and Pennsylvania (20 each) and Georgia and Michigan (16 each). The Kansan Dwight Eisenhower's hold-his-nose choice of Richard Nixon from California (1952) comes to mind here. Swing states could also be in play under this factor, which adds a limitless number of aspirants.

Ideology. It is said the conservative Ronald Reagan chose the moderate George H.W. Bush in 1980. (OK, folks, have your fun ... but that was said.) This factor could be put to work in the GOP of 2012. For example, Newt Gingrich probably couldn't select a moderate but he could go the other direction and pick Ron Paul. And Mitt Romney would have an extraordinarily rich array of choices even if he chose within just the Tea Party faithful. Who Ron Paul would pick to achieve ideological balance boggles the mind. As of last look at Ron Paul's website, the leading vote getter for his VP is Andrew Napoltano, a libertarian talk show host and Fox "legal analyst." Son Rand comes in second, so that must either be for reassurance or geographical distribution.

Kidding aside, the advantage to a cross-cultural running mate in a deeply politically divided American landscape is to send him/her into places the presidential candidate would be less welcome, less appealing, less ... whatever.

American Idol/Pizzaz. This was the key, obviously, in 2008 when McCain and his advisors plucked Sarah Palin (Governor, Alaska) from obscurity. Then again ...

Competency to be President. In the current GOP climate, the less said about this, the better.

So, who's being mentioned? Not that that makes a difference, but it's a place to start. The New Republic published a list in mid-January entitled "The Vice Squad" (its title, not mine!) prominently featuring Marco Rubio and including:

Susanna Martinez (Governor, New Mexico)
Chris Christie (Governor, New Jersey)
Rob Portman (Senator, Ohio)
John Thune (Senator, South Dakota)
Bob McDonnell (Governor, Virginia)
Nikki Haley (Governor, South Carolina)
Brian Sandoval (Governor, Nevada)
Mitch Daniels (Governor, Indiana)

To which, one might add Tim Pawlenty (ex-Governor of Minnesota), Jon Huntsman (ex-Governor of Utah) and, Yes, she-must-be-mentioned, Michelle Bachmann (Representative, Minnesota). Of course, in the alternate universe of the GOP in 2012, who could you exclude? Eliza Gray, assistant editor of The New Republic and author of that Vice Squad article, quoted a Republican strategist who worked for the McCain-Palin campaign:

“There is probably more enthusiasm for the potential V.P. pick than there is for the overall Republican field.”

The moxie potential VP candidate is not going to say that she or he wants the job. So it's not surprising that Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels and Marco Rubio denounce the possibility and everyone else is coy. Why become a lightening rod? Or, heaven forfend, want the job and appear to have ambitions for it?

So, who would want it? In this climate, with any of the potential P candidates? Against Barack Obama and Joe Biden?

A lot of 'em. Just watch!

(Oh Yeah, the footnote. The unelected VP/P was Gerald Ford who came to both offices after both predecessors left town in disgrace. Ford was appointed by Richard Nixon when Spiro Agnew resigned under charges of bribery and tax evasion, was confirmed by a majority of the House and Senate and became president less than a year later when Nixon resigned under the weight of the Watergate scandal. Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney was president from 7:09 am to 9:24 am on June 29, 2002, and from 7:16 am to 9:21 am on July 21, 2007, according to news reports, when George W. Bush underwent colorectal screening and polyp removal, respectively. Cheney may have been acting president on many other occasions, but we will never know the truth of that.)

Originally posted to TRPChicago on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 06:19 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.


The GOP's VP nominee in 2012 should be ...

6%14 votes
13%27 votes
4%9 votes
8%18 votes
4%9 votes
18%38 votes
44%91 votes

| 206 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  If it's Twitt... (7+ / 0-)

    ...they'll go for the "girl vote", with Cricket or the lovely Nimrata. Haley will want the job as an out to her term as Governor, since her approval rating in-state in SC are tanking. O'Donnell needs a regular job. Either one will be as big a millstone as She Who™? Is An Idiot was to the Old Boat Anchor in 2008.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 06:24:49 PM PST

    •  I know! I thought that was hilarious. He said he (0+ / 0-)

      would make the choice after he beat Obama. I didn't see the media refudiate him either. Also.

      “The only thing that happens in an instant is destruction … everything else requires time.” ~ First Lady, Michelle Obama

      by ParkRanger on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 06:42:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Establishment REALLY wants Rubio. (9+ / 0-)

    They think he takes the Hispanic vote from Obama.

    Barring him, if it's Mittens, they will need a dose of the batshit to fire up the base to vote.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 06:28:36 PM PST

  •  I Suspect Idealogical/Competence Not Geographical (13+ / 0-)

    balance is what'll be the deciding factor. I suppose the general principle is that if a winger is the nominee they'll need a competent VP minder that the power structure can work through. If the nominee's competent, by definition he's not fundamentalist, so he'll need someone from the God Squad to keep the base energized.

    But the contenders seem to be Romney and Gingrich.

    Romney has to fall in the competent category that would need an energizing Evangelical for VP. He's neither rabid nor Christian enough for them.

    Newt though, despite experience in government probably qualifies as incompetent, because of his history, and much of the evangelical base seems to like him as they like other incompetents. So in principle he may need a chaperone. But he seems like the kind of guy who'd bite through his leash on day one.

    I wish nothing depended on this so I could watch it like a game show.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 06:34:03 PM PST

  •  Darn, if only Tim Tebow was just a bit older. n/t (7+ / 0-)

    "There's nothing in the dark that's not there when the lights are on" ~ Rod Serling

    by jwinIL14 on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 06:40:50 PM PST

  •  I think a lot will depend on what the race (4+ / 0-)

    looks like in August, when Romney has to make a decision. Assuming it's close, then some of the rising star picks(Rubio, Christie), will have a tough decision to make. Do you take the chance and become the VP pick, knowing that a loss probably hurts your future presidential chances?
    My guess is they will look at the direction of the economy at the time to make their decision.

    Assuming Romney is leading by a significant, consistent margin(say, 5 points), then I think you will have the rising stars quietly pushing to get on the ticket, sensing a strong chance to become VP.

    Assuming Obama is leading by the same significant, consistent margin, my guess is the rising stars decline. And then we end with someone like Tim Pawlenty or even Rick Santorum.  

    •  Will Romney have a totally free hand? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WI Deadhead, American Zapatista

      After all, the national political pros (of whom Mitt Romney is not yet one) and the major contributors (among whom the nominee traditionally is not counted even if he chips in money of his own) will be weighing in on the VP decision, particularly if the nominee is Romney. And he will get a LOT of help from those more conservative than he ... and that is one heckuva lot of the GOP faithful!

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 06:51:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WI Deadhead, TRPChicago, Deep Texan

        But I'm talking about the point of view of the a potential VP nominee. I think we forget sometimes they have to actually accept the VP offer. And if the economy is improving and it looks like Obama will win re-election, then I think some potential rising stars will decline.

        •  Oh, I know who it will be! (9+ / 0-)

          Grover Norquist! it seems like he runs the party anyway, declaring that if Obama wins and the GOP takes the House & Senate, they will impeach him if he tries to raise taxes i.e. opposes his #1 policy. That is a novel ground for impeachment, and the fact that Norquist is stating this implies he thinks he will control Congress and if the President opposes him, the President has to go. Now THAT is a true fascist.

          Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

          by anastasia p on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 07:38:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Definitely. Running as VP only helps you if ... (0+ / 0-)

          1. You win, or
          2. You don't care because
               a. you have a limited future, or
               b. you believe you can make a lot of money another way.

          There are those who say that She or He doesn't really want to be president. I think that's baloney. There is no one in elective politics who wouldn't want to be president. You may not want to put up with the campaign energy drain, or call people constantly to plead for money, or be nice to people you really can't stand, or you can't abide sycophants ... but if you're willing to do those things, you do want to be president.

          Running as vice-president could be a path, an attractive one for people who, just as examples, can't assemble the resources needed, or don't have the time left, or tried and failed but don't want to feel they're out of the game.

          There's one other possibility. A rising star with potential starts getting convinced that the presidential nominee can win after all and assuming he does, he might well blanket out the chances of others in 2016 and maybe thereafter. So you take the chance and deal yourself in as VP running mate.

          Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

          by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 08:25:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Christie won't be the pick (6+ / 0-)

      I know it's unpopular to bring this up, but his obesity really is an issue on several levels. Until he addresses it, he can't even think about being a "rising star." He won't have the stamina to campaign that intensely for a couple of months while still doing his job as governor.

      Also I think the real "rising stars" are people who have been less prominently mentioned. A couple are on that list Portman and Thune. While being hard right, they can do credibly imitations of sanity and sobriety.

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

      by anastasia p on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 07:36:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If they are smart... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chickeee, Matt Z

      ...they will pick Rick Santorum.

      He shores up Romney's right-wing and can threaten us in PA and OH.

      While the national polls look good for us, the new electoral map is nasty. If we lose OH or PA, we need to make it up with a Confederate state. Which could be tough.

  •  I'm Betting On Chris Christie or Marco Rubio...... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chickeee, Fracturedchaos

    They both seem pretty chummy w/ Romney lately.  I'd give Christie the edge.  He's big, he's brash, he yells alot.....& he's a Governor.  Republicans love Governors.  They run states.....usually right into the ground.  

    •  I agree, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Christie certainly would not help Romney with Southern Evangelicals at all.  I would guess he would try to shore up their support with his running mate choice.

      •  Romney would HAVE to shore up his credentials (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... with a Tea Party or other deeply conservative choice. And if he balked, I think the GOP professionals and big money raisers would tell him they're gonna take it easy this year if he doesn't use his choice of second in command to toady to the base.

        Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

        by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 08:30:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Christie? No. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "It's none of your business!" just travel well across the heartland. It won't play in Peoria, no matter how effective he thinks it is. He's a buffoon, a clown to be trotted out for nothing more than entertainment value.

        He stays in Jersey.

        My latest writing I am an American citizen. I am a writer. You have been warned.

        by Bud Fields on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 09:08:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have a client who used to work for Rubio (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yosef 52

      and still supports him and is close to his staff.  He says (for what it's worth) that it's a sure thing, that Rubio has already been picked.

      "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them"

      by ItsJessMe on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 08:37:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ask your friend why Rubio would say Yes. (0+ / 0-)

        Try this.

        It's the top of the ticket who wins the election, not the VP running mate. The VP pick can help or hurt, but not win it in the wake of a bad presidential candidate. Why would Rubio risk being a losing running mate if he thought he'd have his own shot at President in 2016?

        Your friend might argue, by the same logic, that then losing wouldn't tag the VP running mate as the loser in voter's eyes. But I wouldn't count on it. And remember ... Jeb - who definitely will not be a VP running mate for anyone in 2012 - is waiting in the wings for 2016 if the GOP doesn't win this year. Rubio can face off against someone named Bush, true, but he'd be a lot more effective if he didn't run as VP and lose.

        Another approach would be that Rubio would take VP because he is sure his guy will win in 2012 and he'd therefore be well placed to succeed him whenever. Is your friend that sure that Rubio is that sure?

        Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

        by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 09:12:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Haley and Martinez are out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WI Deadhead, cassandracarolina

    No half-term women governors for at least one more election cycle after Palin. Anyway, Haley looks crazier than a shithouse rat. And Rubio is too young.

    Like a previous commentator said, it depends on where the race stands in June. If Romney is consistently ahead (very doubtful) hell go with a pawlenty or Thune. If he's behind by 5-10 points (more likely) he'll go with a bolder choose like Christie or someone similar. If its tied (possible) look for a bob McDonnell who could bring Virginia back for the GOP.

  •  Gods, McDonnell would be a disaster (4+ / 0-)

    He's already been a disaster for Virginia.  Thanks to him, we're down to ONE abortion clinic.  The rest have been forced to close, last I heard.  He cuts money from services like education, mental health, and so forth to gave huge financial concessions to companies to locate their corporate HQs in Virginia.

    He's a stealth conservative.  I knew he would be.  An absolute disaster.  However, I don't expect Romneybot to win, so perhaps a McDonnell pick for VP would precipitate him into obscurity.  Might kill Kookanelly's chances to be gov in 2013 too, come to think of it.  If McDonnell leaves, Bill Bolling would be governor, and perhaps he'd keep the job.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 07:22:54 PM PST

    •  That all may be true but... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Greenfinches, flhiii88, Yosef 52, Matt Z

      he's got pretty high approval (57% approval to only 21% disapprove). And those issues are important to us but not so much to Republicans and MittBott needs some crazy conservative cred since nobody believes him. I think McD is a solid option (*not that I personally like the evil scum!).

      KOCH INDUSTRIES: We're living your American dream so you don't have to!

      by DirtyLibrul on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 09:09:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The governor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, DirtyLibrul

    va isn't coy about wanting it and he or rubio are Mitt's best choice. Not Christie, 2 NE pols on a republican ticket won't work.

  •  My bet's on Renfield. Or maybe Igor. NT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, ColoTim, Matt Z

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 07:41:52 PM PST

  •  Romney will get the nom and pick Santorum for (7+ / 0-)

    vice president. He would want somebody who can appeal to evangelical and conservative voters to appease the GOP base. At least that's what I would consider doing in Romney's place.

    So say we all! Battlestar Galactica (re-imagined version)

    by nerve on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 07:44:19 PM PST

  •  Do you think the GOP base could stomach (4+ / 0-)

    a Mormon/Hispanic ticket??

  •  Why not me? (9+ / 0-)

    I could use a new wardrobe, and afterwards I could make millions as a world class grifter.

    Oh wait -- I have a few ounces of self-respect. Guess that's out.

    Conservatives believe evil comes from violating rules. Liberals believe evil comes from violating each other.

    by tcorse on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 08:03:26 PM PST

  •  Rob Portman would be a formidable pick (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WI Deadhead

       and if Newton somehow managed to beat Willard, then he'd be Gingrich's choice.

       Portman knows the budget shit inside and out, projects a steady, sharp presence and would outduel Biden, I believe.  Plus, the Ohio angle makes it tough in that state for us.

       R-money needs to tap into a crazier vein.  It has to be Rubio for him.  The Bush Mafia will make the lad an offer he cannot refuse.

       But you know, maybe the two top scorpions hook up when all is said and done in Tampa.  A tremendous media splash that would be, and both leave the convention in fighting trim.  The only thing the stupid public would remember (be told told to believe) is this great political love story (yuck).

       Could happen.

    •  Whoa. Why would Bushites - with Jeb in ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, Greenfinches, Matt Z

      ... the wings - make any kind of commitment about 2016 to Marco Rubio. What commitment would be satisfactory - VP to Jeb? I doubt Rubio would take it even if he thought the offer was bona fide and would stick against all the contingencies from 2012 to 2015.

      As for Rob Portman, the very fact he has no national recognition may be a plus. White House counsel to Bush the First, then Congressman (with very high margins in all seven terms), then US Trade Rep and OMB Director under Bush the Second. He's now Senator from Ohio, a good state for the GOP to lure with a favorite son, and he's well spoken and good looking without being threatening.

      But would as sensible and experienced a guy as Rob Portman run the risk of running with Newton Leroy Gingrich?

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 08:51:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As for "the two scorpions hook[ing] up," you ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... remind me of a diary I wrote last month wherein I speculated entirely fancifully, of course, the very thing you suggest:

      "Co-President Addresses Nation, Announces Cabinet"

      (Sorry to tout my own diary, but I hope it's excusable given the soft lob you handed me. Thanks!)

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 09:52:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Paul Ryan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan

    ropes in the true believers, doesn't make the money men nervous, and he can talk without sounding like a jackass.


    You heard it here first is America's Blog of Record

    by WI Deadhead on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 08:24:55 PM PST

    •  But again, Ryan = slashing social security ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Greenfinches, WI Deadhead

      ... and many other programs that people don't want to see cut, replaced or jettisoned.

      While the GOP likes running with Ryan's budget, the devil is in the details. With Paul Ryan actually on the ticket, it would be very hard to duck those details.

      I agree, though, he is a prospect.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 08:54:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think if I were Romney I would pick (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WI Deadhead

      Ryan. First of all he doesn't outshine Willard, he is smart, and we may not agree with his budget plans, but establishment Republicans and tea baggers alike do. He is also "clean", no real skeletons in his closet about any issue. Doesn't Rubio's family have some immigration problems?

  •  Going all in on Romney/McDonnell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    -Virginia is a critical swing state.
    -McDonnell is pretty popular (at a bad time to be an R Gov).
    -Jesus Christ! (literally).

    It's the Stepford ticket!

    KOCH INDUSTRIES: We're living your American dream so you don't have to!

    by DirtyLibrul on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 08:53:43 PM PST

  •  Does foreign policy experience matter? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The interesting thing about these choices is that none of them would bring substantial foreign policy experience to the ticket - something Romney himself already lacks.

    The closest is actually Marco Rubio, who has served on the Foreign Relations committee in the Senate, but only for a year. The other leading candidates, such as Christie and Martinez, bring zero experience.

    This stands in stark contrast with previous GOP tickets, which all contained foreign policy heavyweights - McCain, Cheney, Dole, George H.W. Bush, etc.

    •  Portman was Trade Rep under Shrub and now ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee. While in the House, his focus was largely on taxation, budgeting and domestic spending, but he is carefully assembling a resume.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 09:24:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Best not to give the crazies (0+ / 0-)

    any crazier ideas, specifically Grover He-Who-Must-NOT-Be-Named.

    I'm serious.

    My latest writing I am an American citizen. I am a writer. You have been warned.

    by Bud Fields on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 09:13:09 PM PST

  •  Romney/Huckabee (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greenfinches, indie17, Deep Texan, Matt Z

    Mittens needs to bring the Evangelicals back to the voting booth. Huckabee is the most seasoned and credible politician from that wing of the party.  Plus he's southern, does well on TV, etc.

    •  Squirrel! n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milkbone, Matt Z

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 09:19:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  if Romney needs to appeal to Evangelicals (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, Matt Z

      with his VP pick he's already lost the general election.

      •  Yes and No. It used to be that to accuse some- (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MNGrandma, Matt Z

        ... one of being "a Massachusetts liberal" (outside West Virginia which - improbably and against the odds at the time - embraced JFK) killed their chances in the south and southwest. I think that's what Newt was going at when he called Romney a "Massacusetts moderate."

        I think Romney will clinch the GOP nomination only by running more with Tea Party goers and maybe hinting at what he's looking for in a VP. Yes, he has to be careful with Newt over there being farther and farther out and Right-er, but I think Mitt must start catching that base. The way he does this is to align himself with every board-certified Far Right nut he can find because he, The Mitt, really is the moderate in the GOP. (Yes, this is relative. But that sure is what the GOP hard core base thinks of him.)

        In the general election, the top of the ticket has to get the whole base out, not only for its own good but for all the downticket offices, a duty many of us Kos commenters ignore. But the professional GOP doesn't.

        Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

        by TRPChicago on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 07:43:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i understand the tactical logic (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TRPChicago, MNGrandma, Matt Z

          my point was that still needing to employ intra-party considerations to that level ("needing" to pick Huckabee for VP in order to shore up the evangelical vote) is a sign that Mitt hasn't sealed the deal with his base. and as long as that is the case, he's playing defense, spending more time and effort on the fringes of his own party than with swing voters.

          that's the difference between Romney 2012 and W 2000. W had the whole party behind him then. he didn't need a tactical pick. he only needed something that would assuage general election considerations that he was up to the job. Chenney reassured the swing voters that the ticket was "experienced" enough, and shored up W's foreign policy weaknesses to boot. (long time ago, wasn't it?)

          i maintain that if Romney picks Huckabee, its a sign that he's not confident enough about either the South or the evangelical vote to do otherwise.

          •  There's no doubt about that...You saw South (0+ / 0-)

            Carolina.....They HATE Romney....Seriously....Hate him....

            Turnout will be low in the South....only motivated by removing Obama from office....

            With the wrong VP pick, South Carolina AND Georgia could be in play...!!!!

  •  Susana Martinez (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    soon we may all need to learn how to spell her name

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    Must see video: When Mitt Romney Came to Town

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 09:18:53 PM PST

    •  I didn't mention Huckabee because I've been ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority, Matt Z

      ... wrong to over-assess his prospects in the past. But he is southern, a successful two-term governor, Fox TV-tested and known, a rock-band guitar player, evangelical minister and very conservative. And, he is bright, pleasant, articulate and usually non-threatening. (Beware, however, of the occasional dumb statement and unthinking reaction.)

      Despite some good looking poll numbers early in 2011, he dropped out in May, saying his heart wasn't "in it". Still, we can't count Mike Huckabee out as a VP running mate.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 09:38:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I just watched her State of the State address (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKinTN, MNGrandma


      She's good.

      She's natural with the teleprompter.  She can talk about values without being scary.  She can talk about bipartisanship without sounding insincere.  She can talk, period, without seeming like the run of the mill Republicon liar.

      I gave her one of my favorite personal tests:  I pretended that she was a Democrat and listened to her as if she were a Democrat running for an office I could vote for.  She was wearing a bright blue suit.  She was warm and personable.  She did not drip with faux Christianity.  Except for a few references to denying driver's licenses to undocumented workers, she said very few things I disagreed with.  Her accomplishments in New Mexico will play very well nationally.  She sounded like a reasonable moderate, and could pass for a moderate Democrat or Republican (except that there are no moderate Republicons anymore).

      She'd be a great softening agent as a running mate for Newt.  She's too moderate to run with Mittens, though.  In the one speech I heard, she did not sling any red meat.  In fact, she even said a couple of positive things about the Obama Administration.  Damn.

      She is not only a very strong VP prospect, we need to  watch out for her for 2016, when she will almost certainly run for President, if only to get national name recognition for a run in 2020.

      "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."

      When I look at the economy, I think Obama can't win; when I look at the Republicons I think he can't lose. And the economy is getting better. h/t Paul Begala

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 09:16:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's fascinating that, not only is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ron Paul the only Protestant left in the nomination contest, but most of the names on the VP short list aren't Protestant either. Pretty weird for the party of evangelicals.

    With every goddess a let down, every idol a bring down, it gets you down / but the search for perfection, your own predilection, goes on and on and on. . .

    by cardinal on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 09:26:17 PM PST

  •  There are a lot of absolutely ugly choices (0+ / 0-)

    out there for the Pukes' veep nom.

    If Willard heads their ticket, he's likely to pick someone at least as bad as he is, or worse, and he won't have to look far to find that person.  

    Daniels would (possibly) strengthen Romney's "economic competence" theme.  Certainly not with us, but for Republican voters.  Thune would raise the GOP ticket's profile west of the Mississippi.  

    I think Romney likes Christie, but might pass him up because there'd be a ticket of insufficient conservatism, at least in the eyes of the Puke base.  In a close election, Romney would want every last howling fool in the base to turn out.  Governors from Massachusetts and New Jersey might not be the combo that does that.  

    Rubio is flawed but not out of the question.  Florida is a big puzzle piece for November.  

    I think it will be Bob McDonnell.  Romney will figure it would take Virginia away from Obama, bolster turn-out for George Allen, and appease the nutbags.  

    •  What about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      Haley Barbour?

      He's southern, conservative as you get, and would be a good sop to the racists.

      Plus he's run the RNC before, so the powers that be would like him.

      •  Barbour wanted the top job but his (0+ / 0-)

        campaign kind of petered out before it ever really got started.  

        There was a lot of talk about running a "Boss Hog" candidate from the Deep South against Obama, and a sense that Barbour might not be able to deliver in other regions of the country in a general election.  

        Then came this winter's pardons of felons, which kind of took Barbour out of the picture forever.  It just feels as if he issued the pardons as political pay-off without regard for the impact.  

        Absent the pardons, I think Barbour would have run a smarter campaign than Rick Perry.  

  •  I think you all are leaving out the (0+ / 0-)

    post-nomination appeal they've got to make to independants.

    THey've got to know that they won't win on repubs alone.
    The teabaggers will all in the pot already by that time: if they get out and vote at all, they'll vote R.

    Without independents and moderates no repub has a chance of willing except in the deep red states. And if they go as etreme as many here are suggesting, there's no appeal for the "middle" voter.

    Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

    by murasaki on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 10:08:13 PM PST

    •  a lot of people think that Mittens (0+ / 0-)

      is the one that will appeal to indys and moderates.

      I've talked to people who think mittens will a lot of the moderate Dem voters and that if he picks a right winger will shore up his win in Nov.

    •  The turnout's the problem;... (0+ / 0-)

      if Mitt chooses crazy enough to gin up the base, he risks losing the middle.

      But, Santorum has shown that he can cloak the crazy enough to get 'Reagan Dem' votes (maybe). I think that's Mitt's choice.

      Ticket still goes down to defeat, IMHO.

  •  The GOP Running Mate ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TRPChicago, Matt Z
    The GOP Running Mate ... Who'll Step Up?...

    You mean "Who'll step down?"

    Evolution IS Intelligent Design!

    by msirt on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 10:37:05 PM PST

  •  Santorum (3+ / 0-)

    will play Romney's Palin, but better.  Pick up all the crazy religio's.  Scary prospect.

    A "moderate" in this environment is a person who splits the difference between half-assed government and a total shitpile.

    by Dinclusin on Sun Jan 29, 2012 at 11:29:42 PM PST

  •  George HW WAS a moderate, up and until... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, milkbone, MNGrandma, Matt Z

    the day he became the VP choice.  He was pro-choice, he and Barbara were BIG givers to the United Negro College Fund (in a quiet, WASPy way), he coined the phrase "VooDoo economics" in running against Reagan in the primary, etc. He was the classic, NE, white-shoe, old money 'liberal Republican' that you have trouble finding anymore.

    But the lure of being VP, with the possibility of taking that last step, was more than the call of his thin, blue blood could stand, and he quickly sold out his principals faster than you could say 'Kennebunkport'. And remember, true 'conservatives' at the time had tons of problems trusting Bush1 would do 'the right thing' by their measure, and Bush spent a lot of time trying to shore up his bona fides with them, IMHO, a lot like Romney's trying to do now. And HW's uncomfortable attempts to wear the ill-fitting 'conservative suit' helped a man who was born comfortable in his own skin (Clinton) compare/contrast favorably and win the 'I'd like to have a beer with that guy' contest with those voters that make that measure.

    •  Bush the First let Sununu pack the first night... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MNGrandma, Matt Z, Trotskyrepublican

      ... of the Houston convention in 1992 with all those Values Voter advocates. That was the wakeup call to me and to a lot of then moderates-tending-Republican that the Grand Old Party was something else altogether.

      Pat Buchanan, who'd been running very hard for the nomination, delivered the coup de grace to George H.W. Bush's ambitions for a second term in a speech generously termed hate-filled. It was like Rick Santorum on the campaign trail before the softening sweater vest.

      Before 1992 and a while thereafter, evangelical social conservative leaders deliberately downplayed their radical agenda whenever an election neared, fearing it was medicine too strong to attract new converts. In 2012, there is a prospect that those Ultra Far Right Social Conservatives will foul the waters for the GOP. Not even my most Republican friends like what the social agenda of the GOP has become, nor the candidates who give it succor.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 06:25:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't say Bush 1 didn't sell his soul... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MNGrandma, Matt Z

        to the devil, just that he was a 'moderate' before he did. I'm just one of the few around old enough to remember when.

        I was an R leaning Independent myself in '80, and thought that the R party was leaving me behind when they embraced Reagan. I followed John B. Anderson to third party activism, then Harold Washington to independent Dem. politics, and I've been sliding left ever since.

  •  I have a feeling that the new dynamic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, Matt Z

    for picking a potential Veep will also be "minority appeal". I think on some level even the Goopers will realize that having two white guys going after the Black guy will look bad to the general public (even though it'd be a total tent-pitcher to the GOP base) so they'll try to balance out the mayo-on-white factor of Mitt-3P0 Romney or Newt 'Stay-Puft' Gingrich with some sort of 'other'.

    Look for an ethnic minority, so they can play the "see, we're not racist!" card, or a female with proven conservative (ie, religious) chops, with the caveat that someone be chosen who has actually accomplished something.

    Bobby Jindal, maybe... although he never fully recovered from the barber-tie incident... I'm suspecting that maybe Jan Brewer's carefully staged "confrontation" with Obama at the airport may have been an attempt to position herself in the running. She's "tough on migrants" and isn't afraid to confront the Big Scary Black Man.

  •  Santorum Is Auditioning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    for the job, and I would guess he will get it.  Romney will have to go with a real paleo-conservative, and Santorum is it.
    By convention time, however, it may be equivalent to an offer of a deck chair on the Titanic.

  •  I'm surprised no one has mentioned Rick Perry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    1) conservative ideology to shore up Mitt's moderation
    2) regional balance
    3) brings Texas and its 35 EVs

    Yes, he endorsed Gingrich, but that can be walked back. Perry would be a good sop to the Tea Party.

    Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit.

    by cultjake on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 06:59:19 AM PST

  •  Haley Barbour would have led the short list (5+ / 0-)

    in my opinion, but the truly bizarre list of pardons he issued has iced his political career.

  •  Martinez, McDonnell, and Huckabee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    are definitely on the short list.  They know they need the latino vote, and Martinez or someone like her has to be on the list.

    Bob McDonnell is near the top of the list.  Just crazy enough for the base.

    But neither of them is Protestant.  I think Huckabee is at the top of the list.  Southern Baptist, governor, Fox News.  I'd put my money on him.

  •  Palin again! (0+ / 0-)

    She was SO GOOD last time.  Best GOP candidate for VP ever!

  •  Michelle Bachmann has been interviewing (0+ / 0-)

    for that position this whole election.

    i doubt she will get it though.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 08:02:46 AM PST

  •  Cthulhu For President! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Why settle for the lesser evil? And perhaps He Who Is Not to Be Named can be VP.

  •  John Nance Garner told LBJ (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that the vice-presidency wasn't worth this, but I'm willing to nominate a pitcher of warm spit as the GOP's running mate.

    A petty criminal is someone with predatory instincts but insufficient capital to form a corporation.

    by stlsophos on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 09:51:47 AM PST

  •  Gary Johnson, who is libertarian leaning but is (0+ / 0-)

    only half-nuts on those issues.  The only problem is he might be engaging enough to really run in 2016 instead of being totoally ignored.

  •  There looking for some red meat (0+ / 0-)

    Issa? Brewer?

    “I do not want art for a few any more than I want education for a few, or freedom for a few. “ William Morris.

    by HugoDog on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 10:44:13 AM PST

  •  It won't be a winner. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TRPChicago, Seeds

    Being VP on the Republican ticket is like being the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next head coach.
    You know you aren't going to win.
    You know you will be damned by the association.
    You know that if you do take the nomination, you will have to work your ass off to ever be taken seriously again.

    Only someone with nothing left to lose would be interested.

    It's gotta be ...
    Sarah P.

    "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly."

    by Niniane on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 10:50:20 AM PST

  •  One nit to pick. The Secret Service is not for (0+ / 0-)

    the rest of your life, but IIRC it's for ten years.  Then again, we can all hope that's far shorter than Barack Obama's lifespan, given the crazies out there.  The Republican Congress limited the duration during Clinton's tenure, and he's the last one with permanent protection.

    If we have a Democratic administration, I would hope they'd quietly extend the coverage for him, but I wouldn't put it past any future Republican administration to announce the end of his coverage.

  •  the VP pick scares me (0+ / 0-)

    mainly because it has the potential to galvanize the base as Palin's pick did. But of course, Romney isn't stupid enough to pick someone like her, he will pick someone without baggage but with a conservative badge. He himself will appeal to the indepedents and moderates. So a Romney win scares me especially since he is close to catching Obama right now in the polls.

    If Gingrich wins, game is over.

    •  It's still a LONG time until November...and Romney (0+ / 0-)

      is WEAKER than least until he picked Palin and the economy crashed.....

      Romney is weaker than Dole/Kemp...but Obama is weaker than Clinton.....

      Because of Romney, Arkansas and Missouri are in play....

      Florida, Virginia, Ohio,  Indiana, and North Carolina will be toss-ups.....

      Obama only has to win 3 of those 7 and he's in....

  •  I say it will be Evangelical won't (0+ / 0-)

    run with Romney...they don' like him....and Rubio has his own investment problems....Rule out Santorum and Rubio..Christie is just too unlikeable...Susanna Martinez would be a smart pick, but she's another woman with no name recognition...also doesn't help in Virginia and the Midwest.....Nikki Haley...Too dumb...Thune doesn't get Romney any votes....My instinct is that Bob McDonnell would be too evangelical for Romney....nevertheless...he could help in Virginia, but hurts in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin...Brian Sandoval...No help in the Midwest...Daniels' SOTU response was too much like Obama's SOTU...The ticket should have been Jeb Bush/Daniels...Daniels is out...Portman gives Romney a chance in Ohio and Indiana....Doesn't help in him in Virgina or Florida...

    Susanna Martinez (Governor, New Mexico)
    Chris Christie (Governor, New Jersey)
    Rob Portman (Senator, Ohio)
    John Thune (Senator, South Dakota)
    Bob McDonnell (Governor, Virginia)
    Nikki Haley (Governor, South Carolina)
    Brian Sandoval (Governor, Nevada)
    Mitch Daniels (Governor, Indiana)

  •  Brewer...? (0+ / 0-)

    At first I thought it was funny, but she'd sure shore up the base. Of course that pick would also shore up the Latino vote for Obama.

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 04:04:15 PM PST

  •  I imagine... (0+ / 0-)

    the initial menage-a-tois will be Thune, Huntsman, an McDonnell.

    Basically they will be looking for someone who looks like the just walked off a can of The Dry Look circa 1983 (i.e. "The Gooper Renaissance").

    "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest" - Diderot

    by Reverend Floyd on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 05:17:46 PM PST

  •  please, let it be Palin n/t (0+ / 0-)

    I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

    by blue drop on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 05:21:50 PM PST

  •  I think they will want to pull a Palin and choose (0+ / 0-)

    Christie.  He's loud, he says stupid things, and the Tea Party fringe will love him.  He appeals to the id of the GOP in a way Newton Leroy does, but with more legitimacy.  At least he won't be calling for a base on the moon.

    I'm in Indiana and Daniels is getting more to the right every day, but he's a boring twit.  He brings an appearance of sanity to Williard Mitt, but no pizzaz.  No sparkle.  No red monkey shoes so to speak.

    I say Christie.

    “The only thing that happens in an instant is destruction … everything else requires time.” ~ First Lady, Michelle Obama

    by ParkRanger on Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 06:40:34 PM PST

  •  Paul Ryan or Marco Rubio would be the best picks.. (0+ / 0-)

    I do not think he will choose Paul Ryan though... Rubio is a possibility.

    Romney picking Paul Ryan would provide for some great VP debates...
    However I think no matter who Romney picks he has serious trouble in the general election... More so than Kerry did on flip flopping.

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